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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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the request of any Pole to join his troops. The best proof of this being
that even Berling^ the notorious Russian agent., had been admitted,
" The second batch of soldiers which composed Berling's Army/' stated
the Russian Press5 £C came from a community of Polish Jews in the
Western Ukraine, and deserters from the German Army., prisoners-of-war
and inhabitants of the liberated districts in Poland." Apart from a
small number of officers appointed from the ranks, this Army was ruled
by Russian officers.* The statement that " in many cases, the Poles>
though long resident in the Soviet Union and born there of Polish parents,
were permitted to join the Polish Army/3 was used to explain away the
number of Soviet officers to be found in this Army. From the lists
published in the Soviet Press, it was observed that some of these men
indeed had Polish namesóbut, in every case, they were foreign to the
official lists of the officers of the Polish Forces.
The * Polish Army in the U.S.S.R.* of 1944 was nothing less than the
heir of the ' West Red Division ? of 1920, which had also been composed
of the Poles, " and whose bones lay in the Siberian desert." Not one
member had ever returned to Poland to give an account of what had been
the fate of this Division at the termination of the Polish-Soviet War.
Thus, this ' Polish Army of 1944 in the U.S.S.R.3 had all the attributes
of the £ national * troops formed by the Soviets in 1919-1920, of which no
trace had remained. Its badge was " the eagle/' "but without its crown/5
and the men wore the Polish uniform. " Each division had its chaplain "
óbut The Times3 Moscow correspondent, in giving these details, did not
explain from where these chaplains had come.
When the Red Army approached the Polish frontier and was preparing
to cross Poland, Russian propaganda began a campaign along the lines of
c promising everything.' There is no better method of convincing the
* The commander Berling was promoted lieutenant-genera! in the Red Army.
His deputy, Major-General Karol K. Swierczewski, was a Red Army officer who,
under the pseudonym of " Karol Walter >5 commanded an International Brigade
during the Spanish Civil War. The commander of the 1st Division (named after
Tadeusz Kosciuszko) was Major-General B. I. Polturzycki and his deputy Major-
General Boleslaw A. Kieniewicz j the artillery attached to the division was under
the command of Major-General V, M. Bevziuk; all three detailed from the Red
Army. The 2nd Division (named after General Jan Henryk D^farowski) was
commanded by Major-General Antoni F. Siwickij and his deputy Col. Jakob A.
Pravin, both Red Army officers. The 3rd Division (bearing the name of Romuald
Traugutt), was commanded by Major-General S. Galicki, a. Red Army
officer. The political deputy of the Corps Commander was Col. Vladimir
Sokorski, also a Red Army officer. The Chief of Intelligence in the Corps Com-
mand was Lt.-Col. Piotr Kozuszko, a former officer of the N.K.V.D.
It was clear that after the Katyn tragedy and the compulsory departure of the
army of General Anders from the Soviet Union the shortage of Polish officers was
one of the great difficulties Berling encountered in organising his unit. He himself
announced this in an interview broadcast by Moscow Radio on March 21st31944:ó
"Our main difficulty/' he said, ec was due to the scantiness of our own officer
corps. By offering N.C.Os. ample opportunities for promotion^ we have overcome
that difficulty."